Install Tile in Painted Cinder Block Shower
LESLIE: Corbin in Iowa is working on a tiling project. How can we help you?
CORBIN: Yeah. I have an old, cinder-block shower and I’m remodeling my bathroom and it’s got paint – I mean, layers and layers and years of paint – and I tried sanding it off and it’s pretty much impossible. It smells terrible. I just was wondering if the mastic – a real good mastic would be good enough?
TOM: Well, so, it’s a cinder-block wall right now?
CORBIN: Right. It’s a complete cinder-block shower.
TOM: I see.
CORBIN: And I’m just going to make it a tile shower.
TOM: Alright. So you just want to kind of spruce it up a bit and you’re wondering what your options are to get the tile on that block. Have you got off as much of the glue – I mean, as much of the paint as you possibly could?
CORBIN: Well, I started with an angle grinder and – I mean, I was kind of worried about what could be in one of these layers of paint.
TOM: Yeah, I don’t blame you because you could be breathing in lead paint.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Yeah.
CORBIN: Right, right.
TOM: But I mean, the paint that’s on there is not loose? I mean, it’s really well-adhered to the block?
CORBIN: Yeah. Very well.
TOM: Then I think you could apply a tile mastic and go right on top of that.
CORBIN: That’s what I was hoping, yeah.
TOM: Yeah, as long as it’s not peeling, because you can’t put the glue over the paint; otherwise, it’s all going to fall off. But if it’s on there really well, I don’t see why you couldn’t just mastic right over that.
CORBIN: Right. Excellent, excellent. And I thought maybe I’d do maybe a little extra on the actual floor to make sure I get good adhesion down there, you know.
LESLIE: Now, there’s a new product – well, I don’t know how new it is but it’s different, certainly. There’s something called SnapStone. Have you heard of this? It’s a floating, porcelain tile floor and it’s basically a porcelain tile that’s on some sort of like a plastic base.
And then they all snap together, so you don’t use any adhesive but you use a specialized sort of flexible grout once you’ve got that in place. And they come in large sizes but they also come in, I think, 6×6 squares which could be kind of nice for a bathroom shower floor. I mean, it’s worth it; this way you don’t have to worry about adhesion there.
TOM: That’s a good point.
CORBIN: Yeah. Well, thanks a lot, guys.
TOM: You’re welcome, Corbin. Good luck with that project. Let us know how it comes out, would you?
CORBIN: Yeah, I will.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.